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This is an awesome post by Nate Matherson, Co-Founder of LendEDU. You can learn more about him at the end of the post. Write for us.
Student loan forgiveness has been a hot headline over the last year. The ever increasing mass of student loan debt continues to weigh on the hearts and minds of our college graduates. Today, 7 in 10 college seniors are graduating with student loan debt! While student loans are a necessary tool for some students, they should be used carefully by borrowers.
You may have seen the late night television ads preaching the benefits of student loan forgiveness. Despite what these television ads say, not everyone is eligible for student loan forgiveness. These ads are often being run by unethical telemarketers looking to take advantage of uneducated student loan borrowers. To qualify for student loan forgiveness you must meet certain eligibility requirements for federal programs. Don’t find yourself victim to a student loan forgiveness scams.
The following U.S. Department of Education programs can actually forgive your student loan debt:
1. Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program
The PSLF Program was created to encourage individuals to enter and continue to work full time in public service jobs.
Under the PSLF program, federal student loan borrowers may qualify for forgiveness on the remaining balance of their Direct Loans after they have made 120 qualifying payments on those loans while employed full time by certain public service employers. Qualifying employment is any employment with a federal, state, or local government agency, entity, or organization or a not-for-profit organization that has been designated as tax-exempt by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC).
Private student loans are not eligible for the PSLF program!
2. Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Discharge
If you find yourself total and permanently disabled you may be eligible to receive federal student loan forgiveness.That being said, you must be able to prove that you are totally and permanently disabled in one of the following three ways:
- If you are a veteran, you can submit documentation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) showing that the VA has determined that you are unemployable due to a service-connected disability.
- If you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, you can submit a Social Security Administration (SSA) notice of award for SSDI or SSI benefits stating that your next scheduled disability review will be within five to seven years from the date of your most recent SSA disability determination.
- You can submit certification from a physician that you are totally and permanently disabled. Your physician must certify that you are unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that
3. Death Discharge
If you, the borrower, die, then your federal student loans will be discharged. If you are a parent PLUS loan borrower, then the loan may be discharged if you die, or if the student on whose behalf you obtained the loan dies.
Depending on the private student loan lender, your loans may or may not be forgiven with death. You should check to see if your private student loans will be discharged at death. You may have seen the headlines where cosigning parents have been stuck paying the student loan debt in place of the primary borrower. Don’t let this happen to you! Check your promissory note for more information.
4. Teacher Loan Forgiveness
If you are a teacher and also a new borrower, and have been teaching full-time in a low-income elementary or secondary school or educational service agency for five consecutive years, you may be able to have as much as $17,500 of your subsidized or unsubsidized loans forgiven.
5. School Closing While Enrolled or Soon After
If your school closes while you’re enrolled or soon after you withdraw, you may be eligible for discharge of your federal student loans.
Be aware, private student loans may not be eligible for forgiveness under this rule.
Student loan forgiveness has been a hot topic and will continue to be a hot topic as long as borrowers struggle with student loan debt. There is no easy way out of student loan debt. That being said, you can improve your student loan situation through a variety of other programs. Income-based-repayment can help you better manage the repayment of your federal student loans. And, if you find yourself paying high interest rates on your student loans, student loan refinance may be a great option to lower your interest rate.
About the Author:
Nate Matherson is a Co-Founder at LendEDU.com! LendEDU is a marketplace for student loans and student loan refinance. LendEDU helps borrowers find the best terms and rates available with one application.